By Jeff Ermann
Special to The Baltimore Sun
8:07 AM EDT, July 17, 2013
Diamond Stone, one of the most heralded rising juniors in the nation, is having a big summer on the court and a quiet one on the recruiting trail. Rather than focus on the growing battle for his signature, Stone’s working to beat the increasing competition that comes with being a nationally heralded prospect.
“People are coming at him, and that’s to be expected, and I think it was a big accomplishment to make the USA team that won the gold in Uruguay," said Bob Stone, Diamond's father. "That was a big accomplishment and that was important in terms of our goals."
Still, with college coaches allowed to contact rising juniors as of mid-June, there’s no pretending that the 6-foot-10, 240-pound center’s not a fully established recruiting commodity. His father’s cell phone has been ringing off the hook, with big-name programs nationwide on the other end.
Maryland, which first noticed Stone as a freshman while recruiting another Milwaukee-area player, Cinmeon Bowers, has been among those in most frequent contact.
“Coach Bino [Ranson] and coach [Mark] Turgeon, they called immediately on the 15th of June. They are on it,” Bob Stone said. “During the draft, they were asking us to pay attention to what position their guy went in the first round to show us they can get a big man recognized.
“We’ve had some good communications and Coach Turgeon has been to his high school. Coach Ranson has been to his high school a couple of times,” he said, adding that his son has also formed a friendly relationship with Maryland’s coaches. “They tell us that he’s a priority for the 2015 class, but I think that’s the message from most of the schools.”
Though just a rising junior, Stone’s already got offers from schools like North Carolina, Arizona and UCLA. But some believe the toughest competition could come from in-state programs Marquette and Wisconsin. With the Terps set to begin playing in Big 10 country next year, could their conference change help their cause?
“It’s a consideration, most definitely, but it won’t be paramount as far I’m concerned. For myself, style of play will be the biggest,” Stone said.Diamond Stone is rated the No. 3 center and No. 7 overall prospect in the 2015 247Sports Composite rankings.
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